The Workshop: Organisations

Have returned to the dozens of charities and organisations I had previously called for info. Requesting some form of participation / promotion.

Action for Refugees are willing to add some form of welcome message from the workshop to the site. Migrant Resource Centre are willing to promote the event, and there is the potential for actual involvement in future workshops.


The Workshop: Last preparations

Went to get materials; scissors, glue, paper, card etc.. Also a stack of free newspapers which should hopefully contain some of the language associated with immigration / fear / threat.

A friend has agreed to film and photograph the events of the workshop..

The Workshop: Plan


Ice breaker – Sharing

  • Get people comfortable talking to each other
  • Perspective taking exercise
  • How would you want to be welcomed if you were in their shoes?

Fun Crafty Stuff – Thinking – Personal Thoughts

  • Creative process used to help form thoughts
  • Understand how people think and feel initially
  • Personal thoughts

Newspapers – Thinking – Writing

  • Becoming aware of and understanding the narratives
  • Reflecting on them critically
  • In groups, each thinking in a certain way and cycling this between the groups
  • What lead to these articles? Political? Social? Economical?
  • Who do these articles affect?
  • How do these articles affect them?
  • How welcoming are these articles?

Newspapers – Creating – Collage

  • Restructuring the narratives
  • Presenting personal sentiment for welcome message
  • Bringing forward words that could be used to create our group message of welcome in response to the anti-immigration narratives

Group Message – Defining

  • Deciding as a group, what the message will say
  • Should be a process of empathy with each other
  • Defining the content of the message
  • Splitting it between participants / groups

Group Message – Creating

  • Individuals can work on creating their own section of the message.
  • Free to interpret their section however they choose – so long as it can be mounted onto a piece of card / paper

The Workshop: Aims

Aim1: To cultivate empathy for the forced migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in this country / trying to enter the country

How: by group work reinforcing the humanity in all peoples and by proxy those aimed

Aim2: To challenge the anti-immigration rhetoric, through a gesture of welcoming

How: deconstructing the narratives – linguistically, politically and physically

Aim3: Create a space to discuss (primarily forced migration) but issues relating to migration as a whole, share thoughts, feelings and ideas

Aim4: Test application of HCD methods

How: Defining opportunities for focused discussion and encouraging OPEN discussion while working. the good, the bad, the beneficial, the accepted and the misrepresented

The Workshop

It would seem that this is the most relevant and potentially the most effective method for engaging with the narratives and cultivating empathy. It should allow for a fair amount of flexibility in how activities are designed – whether they are to focu on migrants, hosts, narratives.. The issues of migration narratives are complex and subjective. Instead of attempting to create an interaction that dictates, the workshop can create interactions that facilitate.

Have looked into migration focused workshops. When focused on migrants, they often focus on skills (language, employability). The Green Light workshop by Olafur Eliasson, is a little different though as it is a creative workshop with the intent to create a space of inclusivity.

Not quite what I’m currently thinking, but relevant.

Janzer and Weinstein’s Perspective Matrix

May be central to this project. Certainly the thesis.

Cinnamon L. Janzer & Lauren S. Weinstein

Design and culture

The Journal of the Design Studies Forum

Pages 327-343 | Published online: 21 Apr 2015

A matrix is defined to split social design into four sections; Inside perspective Situation; Inside perspective object; Outside Perspective object; and outside perspective situation – which is strongly advised against and labeled design neocolonialism – risk of cultural bias and ineffective or worse still imposing solutions.

If design-based social change is to be effective and lasting, it must not be focused on the designer but on empowerment. –  The work of Usman Haque is ringing in my ears. His philosophy is centred on principles of user empowerment.